I think I have an anger problem. I am a sixteen year old girl and I get extremely easily angry and upset. I can rage for hours without really having a proper reason for it. It’s most often because of my parents denying me things, but it can often be because of a friend or someone at a party etc. I get so angry my body starts shaking and I burst out in tears. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to tell anyone about this. Sometimes I even get so upset I feel I have to ruin, throw and kick things to feel pleased. I have also cut myself to get out the anger. After a while I can’t really remember much of what I did and I go back to being calm. By the way, I don’t have much stress or anything in my life, my family is of good care and so am I as I know of. Can you please tell me what this is and why I am behaving this way?

A. It seems clear that you have an anger management problem. You have difficulty controlling your behavior. Your anger overwhelms you, which often leads to the destruction of objects. I am encouraged by the fact that you have identified your behavior as a problem.

One potential reason for your unhealthy behavior is that no one taught you how to properly deal with anger. It might also be that you learned this behavior from a parent or a caregiver who inadvertently modeled these unhealthy responses. If I were to interview you in person, I would inquire about how your parents or caregivers dealt with anger. Perhaps, they had a maladaptive way of dealing with their anger.

Simply knowing why you engage in a particular behavior doesn’t necessarily lead to positive sustainable change in behavior. Consider seeing a therapist who specializes in anger management or attending an anger management support group. I would also suggest reading anger management books or workbooks.

Finally, you should also consider seeing a psychiatrist who can evaluate whether medication would be helpful. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle